A new coworking space
Completed in late 2013 in the suburbs of the Belgian city of Bruges, Work Around is a coworking space that occupies the first floor of a recently constructed small contemporary building. Located in the district of Sint-Andries at the west end of the mediaeval old town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, it is easily accessible from one of Western Belgium’s main roads connecting the cities of Zeebrugge and Tournai.
The flexible, modern and functional interior design project was the work of Buro Belgium, a practice based in the nearby municipality of Zedelgem.
The exterior shape of the building, a boxlike structure standing on a rectangular 20 x 30 metre base, allowed for the greatest design freedom. With its main openings facing to the east, where a completely transparent facade overlooks the street, and to the south, where light filters in through a strip window, the only internal constraint on Work Around was the position of a service block standing against the south wall and comprising stairs, bathroom and lift.
Despite the fairly limited floor space, the client’s initial request was to create a conference hall and more informal meeting rooms of various sizes along with dedicated coworking spaces. The fairly simple interior layout features two longitudinal corridors that provide access to rooms grouped into three areas. The common spaces are located at either end, one for socialisation and relaxation (the bar alongside the reception and a lounge area), the other for meetings (a multipurpose room seating 15 people and a 100-seat conference room and archive area). At the centre, two 4-person and three individual offices are located next to the north and south walls. A longitudinal island consisting of a sequence of three identical open-sided booths for informal meetings and a second technical room were used to exploit this complex space while at the same time acting as a partition.
The entire interior design project focused on creating distinctive yet versatile spaces that would meet the needs of the largest possible number of users. For this reason, the colours and finishes were chosen to create neutral surfaces with cool tones and transparencies. White walls, mobile glass panels, plasterboard false ceilings and microperforated aluminium panels are coupled with custom-made furnishings in which white, grey and metal – interrupted here and there by dots of colour – lighten up the interiors and improve the dimensional perception of the space. By contrast, an anthracite grey floor consisting of large-format porcelain tiles (Floortech series from Floor Gres) modulates the dominant colour and becomes an integral part of the coordinated Work Around brand image.
Floor Gres, Floortech
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): < 0,1 %
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): UA, ULA, UHA
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): < 150 mm3
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): > 1700, > 40
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R10
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant